Omar Salha, PhD
Omar Salha is a PhD Nohoudh Scholar at SOAS Uni of London, Teaching & Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy (SOAS), and Founder & CEO of RTP (Ramadan Tent Project).
Omar was awarded the PhD Nohoudh Scholarship for the study of 'Integration of Muslims in British Society'. His first academic chapter published by Routledge is titled ‘Diplomacy and The Beautiful Game: Muslim footballers as ambassadors of faith’. He is currently writing on Islamic Public Diplomacy and the ‘Otherisation’ of Muslims in Popular Culture. Omar is a lecturer in International Diplomacy and his research interests include innovations of Soft Power, Re-Orientalism, Decoloniality, Sport Diplomacy, and the Geo-Politics of the Middle East. He has taught at SOAS University of London, in addition to the Foundation of International Education (FIE) and regularly delivers talks, workshops and lectures in leading academic and professional institutions and conferences across the globe. He is a Faculty Member for the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) at UC Berkeley and continues to present at the annual Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California.
In addition to his academic work, Omar founded RTP in 2013, a social enterprise dedicated to serving the youth and wider community through open spaces of spirituality, dialogue and empowerment. RTP organises the world’s first community-led Open Iftar. Inviting people of all faiths and none to the breaking of fast to explore the Islamic faith and to share the community spirit through food, inspirational talks and engaging discussions. To date, Open Iftar has hosted over 70,000 guests across 10 cities and 4 continents.
Omar has worked and consulted several community projects, NGOs, civic organisations and international governments on interfaith-dialogue, community cohesion, Public Diplomacy and Sports Diplomacy. He was one of the first respondents to the Grenfell Tower Fire and coordinated the Grenfell Muslim Respone Unit (GMRU). GMRU was awarded the Pride of Britain Special Recognition Award.
Omar was appointed as a Fellow at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), upon outstanding recommendation for his commendable work in community engagement, social innovation and academic excellence. Omar is passionate about leadership development & social entrepreneurship. He is also a keen sports enthusiast and his greatest achievement to date in world football is scoring a penalty against Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho!